Unplug? If the mere suggestion of being tech free fills you with horror this blog is for you. A rather conservative piece of research from Microsoft suggests we check our emails on average 274 times a day and that doesn’t include those social media notifications that are constantly distracting you. We take a look at the benefits of unplugging from technology and entering a digital diet.
Consider the following questions;
- Do you find yourself emailing late into the night?
- Is constant connection seen as a sign of commitment at work?
- Do you check your phone whilst eating?
- Do you feel an unspoken expectation that you will be constantly available?
- Is it frowned upon to turn your work device off at night?
- Do you put work over your personal life and neglect either yourself or others as a result?
- Do you use your phone as an alarm and check your emails and social media as soon as you wake?
- Do you have the sneaking suspicion that you’re missing out if your phone is switched off?
- Is your phone ever switched off (and no, we don’t mean when you’ve run out of juice).
- Are meet ups with friends peppered by phone calls and phone checking?
- Do your nearest and dearest complain about your constant phone or device usage?
If the answer was mostly yes, it might be time to consider realigning a few fundamental habits around connection.
The Benefits of Unplugging
Hmmm you wonder, is it worth my time? Well, there are some pretty good reasons to unplug. Research shows that there are a whole host of negatives when we are constantly connected so a digital diet is never a bad idea. Expect to see the following benefits of unplugging from social media, phones and other technology;
- Feeling recharged (no pun intended)
- spending quality time with friends/family/loved ones
- Improved focus
- Increased emotional intelligence
- Greater interpersonal skills
- Better sleep
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Improved memory (we know that the Google Effect decreases our memory function)
The Beginners Guide to Unplugging
There are a number of ways to unplug from technology that will help you to consciously uncouple from your device;
- Switch your phone to silent
- Don’t use auto login on social media accounts
- Set a time each day that you will with off your work devices & stick to it (use an accountability buddy if you need to)
- Charge your phone in a room you don’t use often
- Remove notifications and watch that Pavlovian response dissipate
- Buy an alarm clock (instead of using your phone as alarm) and ban your phone from the bedroom at night.
- Have tech free meal times
- Stop using your tech before 10pm to ensure a restful nights sleep
- Ditch the digital when you’re with loved ones
- Be mindful with your device usage. Notice the urge to constantly check in. Breathe and move on. Take a break from digital overload.
If you’d like to know more about disconnecting, creating a culture of wellbeing or developing innovative practice we offer consultancy, training, bitesize, half day or one day training courses along with conference sessions on how to build effective organisations. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more. We’d love to talk with you.